Preface to The JFK Assassination: The Facts and the Theories

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Written by
Norman Mailer
Carl Oglesby / The Washington Post

Reading Carl Oglesby be on the assassination of JFK offers the pleasure of following a first-rate mind through the processes of its thought. For the political writer, Oglesby’s literary instincts are exceptional. He comprehends what so few authors of that genre begin to understand — which is that style is not the servant of our desire to inform others how to think, but the precise instrument by which we attempt to locate the truth.

So, this contribution to the JFK case has been not only illuminating but crucial. If we are left in intellectual limbo and learn know more about what happened in Dallas, then the president’s death will remain obsessive in our history. We really cannot calculate the price of living with this unsolved crime, and Oglesby, in addition to his writing, has worked directly on the case. The Assassination Information Bureau, which Oglesby be helped to found, and then co-directed, did a great deal to force the assassination question back on the agenda of the Congress. So his efforts appealed to me greatly. He is one of the few contemporaries I read for the pleasure of clarifying my own thinking.